Everyday people write to us asking about the Dive Sites and Scuba Diving in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, TARP, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
So I thought I would write a very quick summary for those that are interested.
Firstly its important to say that we enjoy year round scuba diving.
Often people think that the monsoon season is off limits for us divers, but its not. In fact monsoon time can bring some of the best weather because its no longer the Typhoon season.
Scuba Diving wise there is really no best or worst time to visit in terms of weather for the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.
March through May is Whaleshark season so i guess if you can visit any time atall this would be an additional bonus and our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre is ideally located to track them down safely and unobtrusively.
Tropical waters abundant with diverse and fascinating marine life, sheltered reefs, idilic island paradise settings to relax and while away surface intervals – all this within view of the KK city centre and Mt Kinabalu.
Dive sites within TARP are predominantly sloping coral reefs with stunning hard and soft covered coral blocks, mangrove areas and sand slopes with plenty of fish life and macro subjects – ideal for photographers both beginners and those more advanced.
Depths range from shallow coral gardens at 5m to caverns and overhangs at 30m. Some of the well know Dive Sites include, Clement Reef, Rons Reef, Edgell Patches, North Sulug and Police Beach, but we make many many more new dive site discoveries all the time in and around the TAR Park.
Macro life is what we are passionate about but having said this there are plenty of larger marine creatures to found. We regularly see Green and Hawksbill Turtles and Rays, especially at Turtle House Dive Site.
At the moment Eagle Rays seem to be hanging around with a recent Open Water Course student seeing one in our lagoon in 4m of water!
Schools of Barracuda, Snappers, Fusiliers and Anthias are common. We often see Cuttlefish, Moray Eels, Lionfish and Pufferfish.
Occasionally we see Sharks but sadly Sharks are these days a minority due to overfishing and illegal Shark-finning practices worldwide.
Nudibranchs are common, so too are all 7 species of Clownfish which can be seen in just one dive site! Many species of Crustaceans, Scorpionfish, Pipefish, Demon Stingers, Cuttlefish and Stonefish are also usual suspects.
From time to time we find Frogfish, Ghostpipefish and once in a while the highly prized Blue Ringed Octopus!
Our House Reef and Home Corner Dive Site which is just a giant stride from our Beach House Dive Centre jetty has many surprises. Generally we know where to find Mandarinfish at certain times of the day.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park should not be missed when visiting Sabah, often overlooked this Divers paradise offers constant surprises.
TARP also a perfect location for a Scuba Review before a trip to Sipadan or for non divers to try out the sport of Scuba Diving with the Discover Scuba Diving Program. Also for qualified divers to continue their diving course education.
Two or three day dive packages offer great value for money and you certainly wouldn’t see the same dive site twice – unless you wanted to of course, which can happen !!
For more information on packages please visit our Sabah Travel Centre.
Or contact us for Bookings.
To learn more about the marine life we find, please visit our dedicated Marine Biology Section of our Website.